I have the same problem on 2 computers, both running windows 7 Ultimate.
I called tech support and did a complete removal and reinstall. The same problem happened almost immediately.
Did the same process as you, manual update, reboot. problem was still there.
What was disturbing was, if you didn't try to open Total Protection, a person would never know it is stuck in an update. I wonder how many people have this problem and don't know it.
Pretty sad that after a month, you still haven't received a reply to your post. This is the McAfee forum after all!